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'A Singular Metamorphosis' is a critique based on the domination that television has over society.

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Introduction

'A Singular Metamorphosis' by Howard Nemerov 'A Singular Metamorphosis' is a critique based on the domination that television has over society. It is a poem divided into three stanzas which deals with our ability to perceive true wonder. Throughout the poem, Howard Nemerov stresses the contrast between that which is fantastic and that which is controlled and dull. It is through this comparison that Nemerov puts emphasis on the power that society's tools and clich�s have on us. In order to pass this message on to the reader, the poet makes use of differing words and images. The poem opens with the phrase "We all were..." rather than the more common order of words "We were all..." The poet uses the prior manipulation of words as it serves to emphasize that everyone present was "watching the television." and as it suggests habit. Similarly, the use of the definite article "the" before "quiz" in this first line of the poem also indicates routine for the reason that "a" would otherwise prove to be more appropriate. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore, most attention must generally be directed towards the television. The second stanza of 'A Singular Metamorphosis' is initiated very differently from the first. The words "I alone," are left isolated in the middle of the page, representing the seclusion of the poem's persona in being the only one to notice the eccentric and bizarre display of nature. Howard Nemerov then makes use of repetition in this stanza in lines 18 and 19 of the poem: "To my belief, remarked the remarkable/Transaction above remarked." Here, the use of repetition emphasizes to the reader the peculiarity of the poem's persona being the only one seeing the incident despite it being so incredibly noticeable. Nemerov then engages the reader's senses by further describing the scene. This aids in highlighting the contrast between television and natural wonder. This is because, although the television is only visual and audible, the transformation of the escritoire involves more of our senses. Nemerov then continues the poem in a humorous way as he describes the program being played on the television. ...read more.

Conclusion

which has the indication of someone dressed up as someone else. This implies that, unlike nature, we feel the need to hide our true selves by playing our part in society. The final stanza of 'A Singular Metamorphosis' is much shorter than the other two, with slower pace and more moving tone. Here, Nemerov describes the enduring scene of the escritoire, hidden by the nature which has grown on and around it and the apparent ignorance of the all the poem's characters but the persona. The connotation here is that while the television gets switched off, true wonder survives - although we may not notice it. Ultimately, 'A Singular Metamorphosis' is a poem which, in its entirety, leads us to the conclusion that our ability to perceive true wonder has been devastated by modern society. The poet, Howard Nemerov, shows us this through the use of contrasting forms of pace, imagery and diction to describe a scene in which something natural and fantastic goes unnoticed due to something of modern society which is dull, clich� and lifeless. 1132 words Samantha Sutherland 03/09/2003 Lower VI - NAP NJW ...read more.

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